1970: Lovesick Japanese Man Hijacks Plane With Toy Gun

HAMAMATSU, Japan, Aug. 19 (UPI). — An apprentice cook who wanted to kill himself or be shot down by police hijacked a Japanese jet with a toy pistol today.

He was captured two hours later after he forced the American-built plane to land at an air force base.

Police rushed aboard the aircraft and grabbed the young aerial pirate when he allowed a pregnant woman in labor pains to leave the plane parked at the end of a military runway.

Police identified the hijacker as Sachio Inagaki, 24, and said he had a record of two arrests for theft. None of the 74 legitimate passengers and six crew members aboard the Boeing-727 was injured.

Police said Inagaki, a thin man who wore white gloves during the incident, told them he ordered the pilot to land at a Japanese air force base in an attempt to exchange the passengers for a rifle with which to shoot himself.

“I did not want to live any longer,” police quoted the man. “I could not take my own life so I thought of hijacking a plane.”

Inagaki said the girl with whom he had been living had left him, and that is why he wanted to die.

“I asked the pilot to bring the aircraft down to Hamamatsu base because I thought in exchange for the release of the passengers I could get a rifle and use it to commit suicide or else I could be shot at by police and be killed. I had no intention of hurting the passengers.”

— The International Herald Tribune, August 20, 1970

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